Mesa of Lost Women (1953) – Movie Review/Summary

Mesa of Lost Women Movie Poster
Mesa of Lost Women – Movie Poster

If you are looking for a good horror or sci-fi movie, you’s better keep looking, Mesa of Lost Women isn’t it.

Mesa of Lost Women may be okay if you want a 50s movie with a few pretty girls in it but there are better ways to kill an hour or so and the backing music is terrible. It sounds like something produced by a five-year-old pop star wannabe on Christmas morning just after being let loose with his new guitar.

To be honest the whole Mesa of Lost Women experience would probably be infinitely more bearable with the benefit of a decent soundtrack.

The basic story is about a mad scientist called Aranya who is conducting strange experiments in his lab on top of Zarpa Mesa, Mexico. In true mad scientist fashion Aranya is trying to play god. He has isolated the human growth hormone and has been busy transplanting it into tarantula spiders.

The hormone has made the spiders grow as big as a human and Aranya has found that he can communicate with them telepathically. Nice for him I’m sure, but the man in the white coat has not stopped there, he has reversed the process and transplanted the hormone into a hoard of beautiful women (maybe he was lonely).

The nutty professor  claims his spider-women, have the indestructibility of the insect and says if they damage an arm or a leg they can grow a new one. Virtually indestructible and with a huge lifespan he believes his creatures may one day control the world—subject to his will of course (he is a mad scientist remember).

Wow. Such high hopes from the man, but if he were really a scientist would he not know spiders are arachnids not insects. Obviously the producers of the movie put as little thought into their research as they did into finding someone to play the backing music. Maybe a giant spider was put in charge of the legwork for both departments.

One way or another, the characters in the movie are drawn into the mess and given a chance to display their god-given talents for poorly acting their way through an unbelievably bad script. The highlight of the movie for me was watching Tarantella the spider-woman’s unusual spider-like dance in the tavern. If someone had sacked that kid with the guitar and let Tarantella do her thing to some real music it might have been quite and exotic dance, but the choice of strummer makes it one of the most amusing scenes in the movie.

As for the giant spider, it has to be said it isn’t very believable. It’s more hairy than scary but Mesa of Lost Women was shot at a time when the wizards of technical trickery were still learning their craft so that’s only to be expected.

The main problem with Mesa of Lost Women isn’t the special effects, it’s that kid with the guitar and that horrific music is sure to cause a few nightmares.

Mesa of Lost Women – Additional Information

Directed by Ron Ormond and Herbert Tevos

CAST

Jackie Coogan … Dr. Aranya
Allan Nixon … Dr. Tucker (camp physician)
Richard Travis … Dan Mulcahey (foreman)
Lyle Talbot … Narrator
Mary Hill … Doreen Culbertson
Robert Knapp … Grant Phillips
Tandra Quinn … Tarantella
Chris-Pin Martin … Pepe (the jeep driver)
Harmon Stevens … Dr. Leland Masterson
Nico Lek … Jan van Croft
Kelly Drake … Lost Woman
John Martin … Frank (the surveyor)
George Barrows … George (male nurse)
Candy Collins … Lost Woman
Dolores Fuller … Blonde ‘Watcher in the Woods’
Dean Riesner … Aranya Henchman
Doris Lee Price … Lost Woman
Mona McKinnon … Lost Woman
Sherry Moreland … Lost Woman
Ginger Sherry … Lost Woman
Chris Randall … Lost Woman
Diane Fortier
Karna Greene … Lost Woman
June Benbow … Lost Woman
Katherine Victor … Car-Driver Spider Woman
Fred Kelsey … The Bartender
Samuel Wu … Wu, the valet

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